The China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) is beefing up efforts to urge foreign countries and regions to drop the surrogate country approach against Chinese products in global markets to secure the legal rights of domestic companies, Liu Chao, deputy director of CCPIT's Legal Affairs Department, told a briefing held in Beijing on Thursday.
Given the global uncertainties, China's steel industry has become the top target of trade friction across the world, as the sector is a core industry in foreign countries and regions, Liu noted.
This year, the CCPIT has handled 14 steel cases globally that involve anti-dumping and anti-subsidy probes against China-made products, Liu said.
"As to cases filed before December 11, world markets would possibly continue the original surrogate country approach against Chinese steel. But for cases filed after that date, we are still observing the response from the global markets," Liu said, noting that the council will make efforts to urge foreign countries and regions to drop the surrogate approach against China in individual cases, aiming to fight for the rights of Chinese enterprises.
According to Article 15 of the accession protocol signed when China joined the WTO in 2001, the surrogate country approach was to expire on December 11, 2016.
Under the surrogate country approach, WTO members apply costs of production in a third country to calculate the value of products from countries and regions on their non-market economy lists, which include China. It allows foreign countries and regions to impose high tariffs easily in trade disputes.
The Ministry of Commence said that as of the end of 2016, about 27 countries and regions launched 117 trade remedy cases against China-made products, with trade worth .98 billion, among which the CCPIT had handled 24 cases involving billion, said the council.
CCPIT has set up 102 trade friction alert institutions across the country by the end of 2016, including such sectors as steel, heavy machinery and tea.